Indian Wonder Herb Ashwagandha – Antidote for Stress
by Dr. Gian Singh Aulakh
Most mornings the alarm clock has barely gone off and Priya, a 33-year-old vice president of a communications firm in Gurgaon, is already obsessing over the day’s to-do list. Combining the demands of an all-consuming job with the challenges of being newly married and the things that come with that – a house, juggling budgets, and more – can seem overwhelming. “When I wake up, my brain is on fire,” Priya says.
Exercise helps me regain my equilibrium,” she says. “After a hard workout, I don’t even remember what I was stressing about.” A lot of us could use that relief. Almost half of us eat unhealthy; 47 percent of us can’t sleep because of it; it makes one in three of us depressed; you-name-it woes that it’s easy to think of chronic stress – a common problem today.
“Stress may also be responsible for encouraging addictive behaviors and other unhealthy habits by disrupting the part of your brain responsible for self-control and decision making”
When you’re faced with a nerve-racking situation, your body increases production of the hormone cortisol, part of what experts call the fight-or-flight response. The kind of stress most of us face is the ongoing sort – credit card bills, relationship tension, and office layoffs – which keeps cortisol levels elevated for days. which in turn, appears to encourage the body to store additional abdominal fat.
“Stress is associated with just about every chronic disease we know,” says Jill Goldstein, PhD, director of research at the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Heart disease, diabetes, depression, and some cancers are the most notable examples.
“Stress may also be responsible for encouraging addictive behaviors and other unhealthy habits by disrupting the part of your brain responsible for self-control and decision making.”
Conventional wisdom suggests that we are just a deep breath, a relaxing bath, or a soothing movie away from discovering the secret to a stress-free life.
Rather, the latest research reveals that revving up your body with exercise may be the most effective antidote. This breakthrough discovery has scientists now saying that cardio workouts may actually remodel the brain to make it more resistant to stress hormones.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has become one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs in use in the Western world. It is a rejuvenating Indian herb, also called India Ginseng. It is used to help the body resist physiological and psychological stress. The name Ashwagandha translates into “smell of a horse”; this is a reference to both the unique smell of the herb, as well as the virility of a horse, an inference to the traditional use of Ashwagandha to support a healthy male reproductive system.
Ashwagandha is a wonderful herbal remedy for soothing the mind. It has antioxidant properties that helps in destruction of harmful oxidants in your body and prevents damage of healthy cells and formation of new cells. It is a good aphrodisiac and it helps in improving the quality and quantity of the sperms. In females it helps to prevent leucorrhea.
- Confers immune system protection
- Combats the effects of stress
- Improves learning, memory
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Lowers cholesterol
- Reduces brain-cell degeneration
It may take upto the four weeks of daily use to feel the difference. It also promotes both virility and vitality. One may well say it is superior for whatever ails you and not be far off the mark. The usual recommended dose is 500 to 1000 mg, twice daily. For people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that contains a teaspoon of powdered
ashwagandha before bedtime is beneficial.
Please consult your doctor before using Withania somifera.